Female militancy

Reflections from Sri Lanka

Authored by: Sharika Thiranagama

Routledge Handbook of Gender in South Asia

Print publication date:  November  2021
Online publication date:  November  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367479657
eBook ISBN: 9781003043102
Adobe ISBN:


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The analysis of female militancy has been dominated by writing on female cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Exploring LTTE self-representation of its female and male cadres as exceptional figures and its enforcement of conservative gender norms for civilians, the chapter argues that, in contrast to most of the current scholarship on this, the resilience of normative conservative gender roles within Tamil society has been because of, not despite, the LTTE. The chapter suggests the current focus on the sensationalized figure of the female militant forecloses a deeper understanding of shifting gender roles within Tamil society

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